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Universal Wants A 'Best Man' Trilogy After All. Malcolm D. Lee Is In Negotiations For A 3rd Film

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act November 18, 2013 at 10:16PM

Universal Wants A 'Best Man' Trilogy After All. Malcolm D. Lee Is In Negotiations For A 3rd Film
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Best Man Holiday

UPDATE 10:15PM - That didn't take as long as I thought! 2 hours ago, I published the below post, laying out a potential path to seeing a 3rd Best Man film greenlit. 2 hours laters, this news arrives on my virtual desk, courtesy of Deadline

After a rousing opening weekend that saw his sequel The Best Man Holiday gross over $30 million domestically, Malcolm D. Lee is negotiating a deal with Universal to write, direct and produce another installment of the hit ensemble romantic comedy [...] No word yet on locking in the ensemble cast.

So, there you have it!

Following below is my original post, published a couple of hours ago:

While debate over the film's total box office potential continues among some, you should all know that director Malcolm D. Lee apparently already has a 3rd film brewing on paper, provided Universal greenlights it. And that greenlight of course depends on how well the second film - which opened to impressive numbers last weekend, earning over $30 million - continues to perform. 

The upcoming weekend's box office will likely help Universal decide. A drop is of course expected, as is the case with most films after their opening weekends. But the percentage of the drop will be closely watched. Certainly by us here at S&A. 

A drop of over 50% probably won't be looked at favorably; Instead, a drop of anywhere between 30%-50% would be preferred.

For comparison sake, and since this is a film that comes up most in conversations about Best Man Holiday's box office potential, Think Like A Man also opened with an over $30 million gross, and in its second week in release, it dropped 47% (which may seem like a lot, considering the film went on to earn over $91 million), which is right around the top percentage drop where Best Man Holiday would need to be if it's too earn anywhere close to that film.

As an aside, I should mention that a sequel to Think Like A Man was greenlit months before the first film opened in theaters, which isn't very common. Screen Gems execs clearly believed (or at least they hoped) that the film would do very well, given the information they had in front of them at the time - likely early audience test scores, to start - and were willing to take the risk; although an announcement of any project doesn't necessarily guarantee production.

By the end of the coming weekend, Best Man Holiday would need to add another $25-$30 million in box office if it's to earn anywhere near what Think Like A Man did. Keep in mind that the $25-$30 million figure includes, not only next weekend's take (Friday, Saturday, Sunday), but also the work week (starting today, Monday, through Thursday).

Of course, whether it reaches $100 million or not, the movie has already won, earning back its budget and then some after only its opening weekend, putting director Lee in a club with very few members, comprised of black directors of black films that opened with over $30 million box office grosses. This weekend's take surprised box office analysts across the country, generating conversation within the mainstream press, as well as on social media sites, and even fostering a kind of rebellion amongst black audiences who feel disrespected by the mainstream media's underestimating and pigeonholing of the film (and more), inspiring even more fervent support for the movie going forward, practically turning it into a cause to be fought for. How well all that fervor translates to actual ticket sales remains to be seen. 

Suddenly this coming weekend takes on even more significance that it may not have otherwise, and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing how this story eventually ends. So if you want to see a third Best Man movie, creating what would be a trilogy, you know what you have to do.

In a new interview with necolebitchie.com, one of Best Man Holiday's stars, Morris Chestnut, revealed that Malcolm D. Lee was indeed already drafting stories for a threequel, in the event that Universal Pictures greenlights a 3rd film.

So now we watch and wait...

Hear what Chestnut had to say in the interview below (conversation about a 3rd film starts around the 1:30 mark if you want to skip ahead):

This article is related to: Morris Chestnut, Malcolm D. Lee


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